Most marketers have heard the phrase, “time is money.” The faster you can create high-quality marketing materials and roll them into your marketing strategy, the more of a competitive edge you will have. No one wants to pay for a lengthy process that results in low-quality marketing collateral that no one will want to read or interact with.
A creative brief will provide clarity on your objectives so your innovative team knows what your brand values, what it does and does not want to be included in its collateral, and how it wants its messaging to translate. In addition to limiting the project’s scope, a creative brief also reduces costs by eliminating unnecessary rounds and revisions.
What Is a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a document that emphasizes several significant elements of a marketing or business campaign. It defines the key pieces of information and allows clients to amend the objective if needed.
What Is a Creative Brief Template?
A creative brief template is a fillable spreadsheet that contains a standard creative brief outline. It’s used to plan out the goals and objectives of any marketing campaign. The file will usually be created beforehand, outlining key campaign components and giving you space to add information later on as you learn more about your audience. The templates are easily customizable, so you can include any components related to your business or industry. The template will help you achieve your goals by saving time with pre-planning and outlining follow-ups for the campaign.
5 Key Elements of an Effective Creative Brief | How to Write a Creative Brief
A creative campaign starts with the product and ends with the product. At the end of the day, your goal is in line with selling the product, so understanding the product is one of the most important parts of the business. So you can start by asking your customer basic questions about the product.
- Which product are you advertising?
- What category does the product belong to?
- Where does the product sell? Where is the advertisement placed? Where will you advertise in the future?
- What is the status of the product in the market?
- What is the brand value of the product?
- What is the price level of the product? How wide are the different varieties there?
With these questions, your goal should be to understand the current brand perception of the product. Brand perception is; It is a combination of factors such as price, quality, and perceived quality.
To access this information and understand the product/brand, you can benefit from the consumer data of the customer market research.
2. Company (Business)
The company and product can have a mixed relationship. In some cases, the company may be completely separate from the product as a brand, while in other cases, they may directly affect each other.
For example, Toyota (company) and Toyota Camry (car) have completely different brand perceptions. While the customer may find the Toyota reliable and effective, they may find the Camry unreliable after the recalls. But mostly, company and product brand perception are intertwined.
If the customer constantly has a problem with the product, he starts to associate it with the company. This negatively impacts the brand perception of the company and the product in the eyes of the customer.
There may be some exceptions; Sometimes, companies (especially holding companies) stay in the background and are invisible to the customer. For example, Luxottica is a manufacturer of well-known eyewear brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley.
But only a few people know this because Luxottica as a brand is invisible to the customer. A problem with the performance of the products has little power to affect the Luxottica brand perception.
- Analyzing brand perception,
- Understanding the relationship between the company and product brand perception,
- The company should determine the factors that will affect brand perception.
- This information should be in the “background” part of the creative brief.
The market is the combination of the following factors (3 C’s).
Competitors – Strengths & weaknesses, market position, and media strategies
- Campaign Context – Political, social, and technological movements
- Category – How people see the product category
All of these will affect your campaign. For example, a very positive, fast-paced campaign would not be appropriate in a stagnant economy.
Your goal should be to analyze these market factors by asking the following questions.
- Who is the main competitor of the product and brand, and what is its market share?
- What is your competitor’s marketing strategy? Where do they advertise?
- What message and language are competitors using?
- What types of customers are buying the competitor’s product?
How does the market currently see the product and product category?
Is there a cultural event/moment that will highlight/support the product?
What cultural value, idea, or event can you associate the product with?
How is the economy? Is it the right time for a positive approach? Or do people tend to save?
For example, Oreo celebrated its 100th anniversary by associating itself with some cultural and historical events.
Five main criteria of an effective creative brief five main criteria of an effective oreo effective creative brief to the agency5 main criteria of an effective creative brief5 main criteria of an effective creative brief
In the time of “activist brands,” companies increase the association of their products with cultural and social movements. Consider how to capture the spirit of the times to create a better brand message.
How do people perceive this product category? What factors influence this perception?
Is there a change in people’s perceptions of the category? Is this change a positive change or a negative one? What is leading this change?
The customer is important enough to surpass everything else on the list.
“If you can’t put yourself in the customer’s shoes, you probably shouldn’t be in the advertising business.”
Understanding the target audience and their wishes and demands is critical to writing a creative brief. The following information will help you identify the target audience.
- Demographic characteristics (age, gender, income level, etc.)
- Psychological characteristics (interests, lifestyle, habits, desires)
- What do they think of the product and brand? (“boring,” “fun,” “not for me,” etc.)
- What do you want them to think of the brand? (“change perception,” etc.)
- Disappointments, desires, needs, and beliefs you can take advantage of
The main goal is to catch the point that will motivate your target audience and create a trigger point that will motivate them through that point. This trigger point should also be aligned with the campaign intent.
For example, Toyota’s MPV – Toyota Sienna – market share was collapsing. One of the main reasons for this decline was the unpopularity of MPV among young parents. For most young people, MPV was boring and old-fashioned.
For people to see the Sienna as an alternative, Toyota needed to change the perception. To that end, Toyota launched a YouTube campaign highlighting the “cool” nature of the Sienna:
Each campaign has a specific purpose, message, and target audience. It’s common for brands to run different campaigns with different messages simultaneously.
Your job should be to understand the campaign’s purpose and find a way to achieve it. You should ask the following questions to find this path to create your campaign’s strategy and approach.
- What are you trying to do with the campaign? Increasing traffic? More shares? Be as specific as possible!
- What customer action makes the campaign “successful”? Fill out a form. Clicking the link?
- What is the main “challenge” addressed by the campaign? “What is a Brief? How To Spell?” In our article, we talked about how you should express the “challenge.”
- What is your media strategy? Where will your campaign take place?What will be your main message for the campaign?
“Your goal should be finding the “starting idea” to build the campaign and where to apply it.”
For example, in the Toyota Sienna example we gave earlier, the “idea to action” is:
“Perfect parents drive Toyota Sienna.”
The campaign highlights customers and their passions, not the car. Since the target audience is young parents, all ad images are designed to highlight this.
You cannot and should not write a brief without understanding the product, the customer, and the campaign! In the case you write, you will get a result away from the brand, and you will not be able to reach your goal.
For this reason, you should obtain as much data as possible to understand the product, company, and market. You also need to assimilate customer requests and campaign purposes very well.
If you are looking for a creative brief template that can help you give your brief the structure it needs, there are many free templates to choose from online. Working from a template ensures that you include all key items and information for your creative team.